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Upgrading your Mac to an older version of macOS: A step-by-step guide and the benefits

Upgrading your Mac to an older version of macOS: A step-by-step guide and the benefits
12. June 2023 markbarner
Opgradering af din Mac til en ældre version af macOS: En trinvis guide og fordelene

In the world of technology, new updates and advancements are constantly released. However, when it comes to your Mac, upgrading to the latest version of macOS is not always the best solution. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of upgrading your Mac to an older version of macOS, highlighting the benefits and providing instructions on how to create a bootable USB drive for Mac.

Why consider upgrading to an older version of macOS:

  • Stability and reliability: Older versions of macOS have been thoroughly tested and debugged, making them more stable and reliable for older Mac computers. They have documented compatibility with various applications and hardware configurations.
  • Resource requirements: Newer macOS versions often demand more system resources, such as memory and processing power. If you are using an older Mac, upgrading to a slightly older version of macOS can improve performance and responsiveness.
  • Support for older software and hardware: Some older software or hardware may not be compatible with the latest macOS versions. By using an older version of macOS, you can continue to use these applications or devices without compatibility issues.
  • Many older apps may also cease to function when you upgrade to newer operating systems. For example, if you have several paid programs for which you haven’t purchased new versions or if programs and apps have been discontinued by the manufacturer, they may not work on the new macOS.
  • Newer operating systems, such as macOS, may not always support old printers because the printer manufacturer may not allocate resources and money to develop their printer drivers. Instead, they prefer to sell you a new printer. Therefore, your old printer may stop working when you upgrade to an entirely new macOS.

So, it can actually be beneficial not to jump from an old macOS to a new one. Instead, it is recommended to upgrade 1-2 operating systems higher first.

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step guide on how to upgrade your Mac to an older version of macOS and create a bootable USB drive.

You can also read a more detailed guide by clicking here

Step 1: Check Compatibility:
Before proceeding, ensure that your Mac is compatible with the desired older version of macOS. Apple’s official website provides detailed information on supported macOS versions for different Mac models.

Step 2: Back up Your Data:
Make a complete backup of your important data to an external storage device or cloud service. This step is crucial to avoid data loss during the upgrade process.

Step 3: Download the Older Version of macOS:
Visit Apple’s official support website and navigate to the section with previous macOS versions. Find the desired macOS version and download the installer.

Step 4: Create a Bootable USB Drive:
To create a bootable USB drive for Mac, follow these steps:

a. Insert a USB drive with a capacity of at least 8GB.
b. Open the “Disk Utility” program in the “Utilities” folder.
c. Select the USB drive from the list of available drives.
d. Click on the “Erase” tab and format the USB drive as “Mac OS Extended (Journaled).”
e. Open “Terminal” and run the command: “sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ [macOS-version].app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia –volume /Volumes/[USB-drive-name] — /Applications/Install\ macOS\ [macOS-version].app.”
f. Follow the on-screen instructions and enter your administrator password when prompted.

Step 5: Upgrade to the Older Version of macOS:
a. Restart your Mac and hold down the “Option” key.
b. Select the bootable USB drive from the list of startup options.
c. Follow the on-screen instructions to start the installation process.
d. Choose the destination disk for the installation.
e. Accept the license terms and wait for the installation to complete.
f. Once the installation is finished, set up your Mac using your Apple ID and restore your data from the backup.

Should I upgrade my Mac to a newer macOS or an older one?

Upgrading your Mac to an older version of macOS can be a wise choice, considering stability, compatibility, and resource requirements for your older Mac computer. By following the step-by-step guide provided above, you can easily make the transition and enjoy a more optimized experience. Always remember to back up your data before proceeding with any upgrade or installation process.

If you have nothing to lose and have a backup of all your data with, for example, Time Machine, you can safely upgrade macOS. If you need help with backup or upgrading, you can also contact us.

Download older versions of macOS here and upgrade your Mac from an old to a newer version:

When using these methods instead of Software Update, your Mac may need more storage space to download macOS and complete the installation.

  1. Click the link to open the App Store page for the respective macOS.
  2. In the App Store, click the Download button to begin downloading the macOS installer.
  3. Once downloaded to the Applications folder, the installer will open automatically. Follow the on-screen instructions to install macOS.


Need help with your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or PC? Call us today for phone or on-site support. Contact MacGeni here.


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